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Old 31st August 2012, 23:12   #1
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Default Third time lucky - Shrek III - Trilogy. Experiences with the Mahindra Scorpio Mhawk

Shrek I Ownership Report (Scorpio VLX- Initial Ownership Report)

Shrek II Ownership Report (Shrek-II My Scorpio VLX AT 4X4 -Airbags)

Rewind to Feb 2011: After some memorable trips in Shrek II , in approximately 18000 kms during 1 year of ownership ( an AT 4wd Mhawk), I had experienced some niggles in the transmission box. and accordingly, it was sent to service centre. A good friend, well known in M&M circle with good contacts, helped me to get it repaired satisfactorily, under warranty. But as per his advise, went for an exchange through Mahindra First Choice, arranged by the dealer and picked up a similar looking replacement.

It has two things different as compared to Shrek II- (1). Gear box - MT-5 speed v/s earlier AT-6 speed & (2). Micro hybrid -so it meets Bharat IV emission norms v/s Bharat stage III emission norms for Shrek II.

Other very minor difference was the change of seat fabric material( both color and texture) and some minor changes in the levers, fit and finish.

The convenience of the AT box was gone but the thrill of the new car helped to overcome this issue apart from convincing myself that its better decision for the long term peace of mind. Only thing exciting about it or, worth experimenting was the micro hybrid kit. The novelty factor wore off on the day1 itself.

Bringing home the same new car, the third time, has its own advantages and disadvantages. I will focus on the advantages:
1. I knew it almost as much or better than the person who tried to explain me the features and location of fuse box, tool kit, spare bulb, etc.
2. PDI check list has been updated and rehearsed to a fair degree of perfection (almost). Had checked the points and parts which on the earlier occassions , has niggles thoroughly. Though it was not completely events free, but still was a better than earlier experiences.
3. The sales person( fortunately he had not changed his job as frequently as me) has learnt to be patient with me.

On that day what I felt missing perhaps, was the thrill, excitement and buzz among the friends, family members and neighbors on getting a new car home- almost nothing was different to the outside world.

Checked the overall working of critical parts and stereo, filled up tank, performed 'puja' and decided to let it go in the background. Most of the recent one and a half year have been incident free. Have covered so far 15300 kms approx.

Some points of interest for those who may be considering Mhawk VLX - 4wd for their next purchase as given below.

Engine: Mhawk- its refined, relatively silent, responsive and pulls strongly. I'll skip technical specifications since, these are readily available on the website.


(1). 6 speed AT - it has been reported as problematic gearbox and rumored to have been out of production now. So those who may be considering to buy an AT version, please, check the details thoroughly. Though this was the cheapest 4wd AT UV/ SUV in the market. Next option was Ford Endeavour AT 4wd almost at double the price (onroad). BSIII didnt have a micro hybrid option. Nowadays, Fortuner with automatic transmission (4 speed) is available in 2wd version.

(2). 5 speed MT- BSIV- Micro hybrid- Shrek III has this transmission. Micro Hybrid system can be switched off/on through a switch. Before proceeding further , like to add my views on the micro hybrid system. It is difficult to predict its working in start stop traffic of Mumbai & I have found it rarely working so real utility cannot be vouched for. Most of the time, it doesnt switch off the engine. But when it works, the AC also gets switched off ( blower, music and headlights continue to be in on position). Have not experienced much difference in the fuel efficiency with the system on or off. In nutshell, its an avoidable expenditure in city environments, if optional.

4wd switch ( shift on the fly) is better placed in the MT version than the AT version. For most conditions that tar/concrete roads (despite all the pot holes, water logging , in monsoons, in Mumbai), never needed to switch over to 4wd mode but used 'high' position- to visit some proposed construction sites (mostly muddy/ slippery roads) and never got an opportunity to try 'low' ratio. But nevertheless, it adds to a lot of confidence in venturing out and going to the maximum possible distance on those sites that would seem to be 'daring', in any sedan. However, to disengage the hubs completely(pardon the jargons), the same, after putting it in 2wd mode, one needs to reverse a bit.

Good bits:

Feature list on VLX is quite good. Bluish headlamps are OEM and have not felt the need to change the headlights. Bluetooth , steering mounted controls for music, cruise control etc. add to convenience - with automatic lights and wiper. In the earlier version, auto lamp and wiper switches would remain on or off as would be left but in this version, it resets to 'off ' position, each time the engine is switched off. TPMS shows type pressure and temperature. In the earlier version, all the 5 tyres' readings were displayed but now it shows only 4. Some expert has assured me that the TPMS system would beep and blink in case, the spare tyre pressure goes below the specified limits. Electrically adjustable rear view mirrors are also a very useful feature. Inner rear view mirror has integrated rear parking sensor display which is activated when the gear is engaged in reverse. Whenever, we do tyre rotation or , change a flat tyre, we have to make the system 'learn' position of each tyre which is an elaborate process.

The quality of steel / tin on the body panel (skin)as compared to Shrek I (original Mhawk-2008) seems to have deteriorated (trimmed) which may be for the sake of cost cutting and reducing weight for better fuel efficiency.

Fuel and engine temperature indicator, odo and trip meter (A & B) are digital.

Novelty factor
- "pintle hook' at the rear- have never used it but adds to the character of the car from the rear and acts as an effective deterrent for any other vehicle trying to come too close at the rear. The rear footstep is integrated in the rear bumper guard cum skirting. The all round plastic panel in the lower half saves scratches to the paint but a side / tangential brush with any other vehicle like autorickshaw is enough to sear it off the vehicle. Its fixed with plastic rivets in the groove.

Voice Alerts system is a nice add on and I still find it a good thing, specially with too many people, getting in and out of the car leaves a great probability of someone leaving the car door partly open when despite the visual indicator on the MID, a voice alert is welcome, or sometimes when the handbrake is not fully disengaged. But the alert pertaining to low fuel is very irritating- its repititive and too frequent. Worse is that for a 60ltr tank, the warning starts too early(when almost 20 ltrs fuel in the tank remaining).

Gear lever vibrations have been comparatively reduced and the gears tend to engage more smoothly in all gears except reverse. Rear view mirrors are large and one of the best rear view mirrors , I have had in all my cars so far.

Some niggles :/ Scope for improvement-
1. The 'Mahindra' branded remote door locking module is problematic and so is the central locking mechanism. I had issues with it and twice had to call for road side assistance helpline due to malfunction in the last year. The switches refuse to work sometimes and it still is not problem free. Planning to get 'remote' repaired or replaced under warranty. The central locking lever on the driver side door was also faulty and it was replaced in second service under warranty. Its a pain to manually open/ close the central locking from inside. The lever too is very small and flimsy of very poor quality.
2. The elbow space on the right side (driver) is very less as compared to the other cars that I drive and have got roughed up several times.
3. The lever for tilt steering mechanism is also not ergonomically placed and one needs to be careful while the driver seat may be adjusted to a forward position. Had got badly bruised in the left knee on one of the several encounters while getting in the position.
4. Two most missed things from my perspective is left foot rest and the driver seat height adjustment with lumbar support. Front seats are almost 'caved in' and offer very less support to the lower back. Assist grip on the driver side should also have been provided( find it missing in most of the cars on lower side of 15 -20Lakhs.
5. the switches for rear view mirror adjustment (electrical) are also very flimsy and too much of play is there in it.
6. The housing for the rear view mirrors seems to be fit for rain water harvesting and in each monsoon it tends to cultivate fungus/moss.
7. Sometimes reverse gear refuses to engage. One needs to rev it a bit or engage forward gear, move a bit and then engage reverse.
8. The famous 'waterfall' effect on the windshield while driving through water logged areas is still there, so one needs to be driving really slow to avoid it.
9. The locking wheel drum (for key) had got jammed and would not allow twisting the key to crank start the engine once. 30 minutes at service centre with some spray(WD40) and repeated twisting in the key , did the trick and its trouble free now.
10. Quality of OEM wiper is very poor and doesn't last a monsoon. So have needed to change it in all the three scorpios in the first year itself.
11. The ac blower vents are of very poor quality in material and design. Effectiveness of ac in the first version was much better than the second/ third (2008 v/s 2010/2011).

Driving experience:

The all round visibility, good pick up and acceleration despite the bulk is commendable. Pete's box adds a dash of fun and compensates for some tricks and tweaks that M&M engineers may have done to it. Pete's works fine in the MT version even without a K&N filter. In AT version, K&N filter would be must as I had to get it removed due to engine check light warning flashing too often. Have done few long trips in each of the versions with family as well as just 2 passengers and its a definitely worth its price in terms of space and peace of mind that it offers in all sorts of road conditions ( or, no road conditions). Only thing I wish that M&M improves the seats ( add height adjustment and lumbar support at least for the driver- its missing in Endeavour also) plus a left foot rest ( it would help to adjust oneself in the seat in long drives).

The ease of getting in / out is also noteworthy specially for 6th and 7th passenger in side folding rear seats version. A loaded Scorpio is less bouncy. I could not notice any difference in driving due to tyres ( first came with JK Elanza and other two I managed with Bridgestone). Have no experience on either of these tyres in the the long term.

Initial pick up and acceleration was much better in Shrek I as compared to ShrekII(AT 4wd)/ ShrekIII (MT 4wd) which could be due to additional weight and engine remap for better FE.

Braking is reasonably good. Someone switching from sedan, needs to remember that a vehicle of this size, has its own momentum and rear brake drums offer limited braking assistance. So one needs to understand its capabilities and limitations.

OEM headlights are good enough for night driving on the highways as well.

Fuel efficiency: With ac on, in a daily commute of 80 odd kms (20 kms in city - crawling and 60 kms on the highway), I have never got less than 10kmpl. On an average with a reasonably sedated driving style, I get 11.8kmpl in MT. FE for AT version was in the range of 11kmpl ( 6th gear must have been helping FE tremendously). The best I have measured is in excess of 13kmpl on long drives in both the MT versions (2wd and 4wd). These figures are arrived at by using tankful to tankful method ( fill it till the neck of the tank after shaking the truck and waiting for bubbles to get released and again fill up and stop just in the nick of time before it starts spilling). Mostly I fill up during early morning or late evening hours from either of the three shortlisted pumps ( 2 of BPCL & 1 HP) only. One of them is BPCL 'COCO', and my preferred. But mostly air pumps are not working at both BPCL pumps so when needed, I go to HPCL pump for checking tyre pressure. ( Tyres tend to retain pressure for pretty long period without any pressure loss for months at stretch).

After Sales service experience with several services centres of M&M in three different parts of the country has been reasonably good. Had opted for extended warranty ( 2+2 years subject to 1 Lakh kms) for all the three cars so far (@Rs. 9999/- each time) but have never experienced if its actually needed. Some of those samaritans who had the privilege of owning the 2004/2005 make / models mention that the earlier M&M used to 5 years comprehensive warranty but now even the extended 2+2 years warranty comes with too many fine prints and may not be so useful. The more experienced previous generation users (CRDI / Turbo) mention that the overall reliability and quality aspects of M&M has deteriorated over a period of years- despite all the technological advancements and features that it may claim of. 'Shrek -I' had no airbags, no bluetooth, no 4wd, no bluish headlamp etc but it surely had relatively solid build quality, stronger handles and levers and pep in its steps as compared to later versions, IMHO.

Since, I dont drive it much ( less than a 1000km per month on an average), the service costs have remained low. 4th paid service which would have needed a brake lining inspected / changed as per schedule, was not done. However, I got it done during 5th service The approx cost of fluid changes is in the range of Rs 3000/- every 15000kms or every 3rd service as per schedule. Service interval is 5000kms/6 months (similar service interval is for Toyota and Chevrolet). It should have been at least 10000kms since, most of the cars these days are having such interval.Shrek III has been only to one service centre for all its 5 services (4 months interval) so far. Each time - (specially last 2 services that I recall vividly), it has cost me around Rs. 3-4K. Recent (5th service- recommended at 25000kms). In the service book , for the first 3 free services, period in months ( interval ) is also mentioned, but for paid services, only kms is mentioned. For validity of warranty, however, the service advisors insist that we have to regularly get it serviced at 4 months or 5000kms interval (whichever is earlier). I need to understand and verify it from M&M helpline as to whether it is 4 months interval or 6 months interval.

During recent service, I have got the micro hybrid switch, cruise control connectors & microphone for bluetooth telephony changed (under warranty) as they have stopped functioning. Reason given for malfunction is that it may happen due to low running or less usage. They have also changed the contacts for remote control ( central locking). Low beam of left headlight bulb had gone kaput, which has been replaced. Cost Rs. 456/- for a single bulb ( blue vision). Cleaning of the entrals is a tough task and service centre seems to be ill equipped, ill trained or disinclined to do that job- since, it may need intensive labour to scrub the surfaces to free it from sticky dust and grime. All they rely upon for all the cleaning is high pressure water jets which seems ineffective to clean the surfaces below the bonnet, wiper etc. The ac blower guide on the left side in the centre has also slipped from its hinges and will be replaced under warranty later, as part is not available currently. Somehow, I was made to feel good in the last service. Service advisor was very polite, courteous and patient with my queries as well as complaint's list ( had listed out 20 issues to be checked, repaired or replaced) and except cleaning part, every thing was quite satisfactorily done. ( I will give them benefit of doubt since, it has been raining these days- blame it on the rains !).

Wiper blades have hardened in sun and doesn't clean the glass surface effectively. Service advisor has suggested to use 'skoda' type wiper blades for longer life of rubber part available in the market. Havent tried it as yet.

Accessories : Except Pete's box and a cigarette lighter, I have not added any accessory, films nor changed any thing else. Would like to change the driver seat, add a dead pedal ( foot rest ) and an assist grip on the driver side. Shrek I came with smoker's package ( ashtray and a lighter) but the same has to be purchased as an accessory in the later versions- wondering whether its a cost cutting effort or genuine concern for our health to discourage smoking.

Each time , I went to purchase a utility vehicle/ SUV, I had considered all available options/ competition in its price range or even double the price, but ended up buying a Mhawk due to one or the other compelling reason, either due to space, ease of ingress/ egress, features, after sales service network, extended warranty option and money/ finance scheme was a constraint only the first time. It has been a real peace of mind & value for money purchase each time . Though being an obstinate Safari fan myself, ended up buying a pre-loved VX4wd Safari VTT, but could not keep it for more than a year and perhaps never felt the need to consider buying another one as Scorpio felt better overall while Safari truly was far more luxurious and comfortable overall.

But what I appreciate most about having purchased and lived with Shrek in various iterations, is that it helped me to get acquainted with some of the finest people who own or owned a Scorpio and are so passionate about their drives and helping each other to sort out issues with the machine or the dealers/ service centres/M&M. They keep bashing M&M for various oversights and areas of improvement and keep going miles and miles as happily about it.

Summing up:
In monsoons in Mumbai or any other unknown place , where I may not be sure of quality of road, if one car I have to pick up for the sheer peace of mind factor , for commuting, its for sure a Scorpio despite its shortcomings in my budget. A car that may have its kind of practicality, usablity, space, features and pep etc is nothing less twice its price. Of course only cars that probably can be considered as its replacement could be an Endy, T-Fort, Pajero Sports or a Freelander2 at various price points, IMHO considering the fact that Safari is considered to be in the same class as it (though most Tata Salesmen refuse to consider Scorpio in the same class and relegate it to an UV like a Bolero). Its sure footed and people friendly, doesn't cry for attention with its minor niggles and creeks and clanks, nor complains over the bad quality of roads/ potholes/ water puddles besides happily settles in the background while I am busy at other things in life and purrs back into action whenever called for.

A gentle yet capable beast like personality and so aptly called 'Shrek' is one the most loved members of our family for its sheer capacity to take on as many people aboard with plenty of space for their stuffs. Have checked out 'Duster' recently and I feel, if I had not had Scorpio, I may have bought a Duster but definitely, not worth exchanging a Scorpio for it. Few months back when I checked with a sales rep regarding exchanging it for a XUV, he strongly, recommended not to sell a Scorpio in exchange for XUV at that stage. There are people who have gone to Ladakh in Alto or M800s as well so not that it is a must to have but 4wd capability, no matter how less used gives a rare kind of confidence to take it on any kind of road or any place, without thinking twice about it. That is what I like the best about owning Shrek III.
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Last edited by Technocrat : 5th October 2012 at 22:15. Reason: Added Links for Shrek I & Shrek II :)
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Old 5th October 2012, 23:54   #2
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Default re: Third time lucky - Shrek III - Trilogy. Experiences with the Mahindra Scorpio Mhawk

Thank you for adding links to previous threads Mods. Here are some more pics.
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Old 6th October 2012, 20:58   #3
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Default re: Third time lucky - Shrek III - Trilogy. Experiences with the Mahindra Scorpio Mhawk

You are a true Scorpio loyalist. can you please post some interior pics?

The third picture in the first post gives me shivers. Children hanging on the mirror like that. It would set you back by 10,000 god forbid the mirror comes apart

O.T: Bhpians - please comment on the below.

IS there any specific usage for the pintle hook in india? I mean are suitable trailers or "tow-me"s available in India? I know there are separate threads on army trailers, restorations and registrations, but maybe a one-liner will help here.

I mean it would have saved M&M money on giving the same non 4X4 bumper on the 4X4 scorpio too. if the pintle hook was just show-off, i think a good 4x4 badge would have cut the ice. The only reason i can think off is cosmetic, so that the 4x2 scorpio owner does not ending up having decals like a 4X4 model.

Last edited by scopriobharath : 6th October 2012 at 21:02.
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Old 8th October 2012, 10:54   #4
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Default re: Third time lucky - Shrek III - Trilogy. Experiences with the Mahindra Scorpio Mhawk

Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
You are a true Scorpio loyalist. can you please post some interior pics?

The third picture in the first post gives me shivers. Children hanging on the mirror like that. It would set you back by 10,000 god forbid the mirror comes apart

Will put up interior pics shortly. The ORVM assembly setup on each side ( housing / case plus mirror) costs something in the range of Rs.1500/- plus 500/- for painting. The full kit alongwith motor, wire etc may cost what you have indicated. Anyway will find out from the service centre and update here.

Pintle hooks actually serve no purpose and in fact a step up footboard would have been more appreciated for ease of passengers getting in and out from the rear door.
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Old 14th October 2012, 14:09   #5
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Default Re: Third time lucky - Shrek III - Trilogy. Experiences with the Mahindra Scorpio Mha

Adding some pics of the Shrek(s) . It also captures evolution of the interiors of Mhawk versions. With introduction of air bags and double din music system, look and feel from drivers seat changed dramatically. The airbag on passenger side also was responsible for a very useful assist grip and some place for cell phone et all for the front passenger. Please, note the red background of the speedo - odo meters later replaced by the pale green background.
The 5 led indicators for the tpms was also replaced by 4 led indicators. I also strongly feel that the quality of the seats and ergonomics were better for shorter drivers in earlier version than the later versions. However, company has a different story to tell ( I disagree). The backrest is too concave in Shrek III and provides no support at all. Lumbar support is badly needed, I feel. Images with red background speedometer console are of ShrekI that of seats as well.

Pics of integrated double din music system , 4 wd switch and Auto transmission gear lever are that of Shrek II.

Note from Team-bhp support: Post edited. Please refrain from discussing high speeds on the forum. We advocate safe driving practices.
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Last edited by moralfibre : 15th October 2012 at 06:55.
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